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to the establishment of the order of deacons, how is the argument drawn from it by the dissenters, in support of their system, to be refuted ?
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, B.
ST. PATRICK. Sir,-I do not know whether the shape in which the essay on St. Patrick is presented in your Magazine leaves me at liberty to comment on it. But, whatever may be the origin of the tracts ascribed to him, they do not suffice to persuade me there was such a person, and that he is not a creature of mythology and fable.
The confession of Patrick certainly confesses rather more than I am disposed to believe, viz., that a dream warned him to go to Ireland, and promised that he should find a ship ready to take him there, and that he accordingly found the vessel ready to sail. Ships to Ireland were not common in those days, when its inhabitants were cannibals, as we know from St. Jerome's positive testimony. Besides his own dreams, we have the inspired visions of his friends. To inquire, why this document is less loaded with miracle and fable than others relating to him, is like asking why Jove's satellites are less than Jove?
Nothing cited from the epistle to Coroticus has any tendency (in my opinion) to shew that it was of earlier date than 430. What is meant by the last Roman legion leaving Britain in 404, I do not well know. Honorius renounced the management of this island, by solemn letters of renunciation, addressed to its cities, and directing them, pularteodai, i.e., res suas curare, in 410 or early in 411. And subsequently, on two occasions, he sent a legion to their assistance; one was commanded by Gallio of Ravenna, and the year is known, but I have not opportunity of referring to Prosper and the other chronicles. I cannot discern what the legions have to do with it; though the renunciation of Honorius might. But it may well be questioned whether the provincials of Britain thereby lost their rank of “Roman citizens,” even in the * courts of law; and assuredly they did not in mere common parlence. Perhaps the author is not aware that the descendants of those citizens, retaining the Roman language and manners, were distinguished from the tribes of the British and Gaelic tongues by the name of y Romani, and spoken of as a belligerent power in the disturbances of the island, until after the middle of the sixth century. The words which I remember Prosper uses, “ Pharamundus regnat in Francià,” do not imply that he was in possession of Gaul, or any part thereof. The country there styled Francià, is the modern circle of Franconia; and the head-quarters of Pharamond were at Wurtzburg or Herbipolis. Clodion, his son, made good his footing in the Northern Gallia, Belgica, or low countries. This paragraph should have been better considered before the article was converted into a penny tract.
A sovereign may renounce his own privileges, and resume those of his subjects, if forfeited by misconduct. But no man can renounce the rights of another; and, least of all, can it be done by implication.
The mission of Saint Pallady is an undoubted event. The ministration of Patrick is attested by no document or historical proof; and the accounts of it are not merely fabulous, as all the Legenda Sanctorum from Sulpicius Severus downwards are, but they bear peculiar marks of fiction. His best friend, Father Colgan, divides or multiplies him into four Irish saints, independent of sundry foreign ones. He was born in Gaul, in Ireland, and in this island. He was buried at, Down, at Kirkpatrick, and in Glastonbury church. His father's name was Calphurnius, it was Mawon, and it was Aloryt. His own name was Patricius, it was Nannus, it was Succath, it was Cothirlagh, it was Magonius, and it was Tailghean. Iris herself could scarcely boast of more appellations than this obscure character. The Welsh catalogue of the saints, called Bonead y Saint, asserts that he was great grandson to Gwydion ap Don. Now, if anything be clear in these obscure Celtic tales, I believe it is clear that Gwydion ap Don is nobody at all, but a mere god or dæmon of the Celtic paganism, generally deemed to be identical with Mercury.
I know it may be answered, that all these incongruities were added, as miracles and old-wive's tales were added, to his legend in later times. And I will reply by asking, whether the corrupted church, in her lying moods, was wont so to deal with her saints ? Certainly not. It was never her fancy to give to her champions as many fathers, cradles, and tombs as there are leaves in a shamrock, and more names than there are eyes in a potato. St. Gregory Thaumaturgas and St. Anthony had no such pluralities, neither had that most notorious and detestable personage (St. Patrick's reputed uncle) Martin of Tours. It may be rejoined, that the saints connected with Celtic countries stand in a different predicament, owing to the different style and humour of those countries. But that again will prove false. No such thing appears in St. Alban, in Germanus (Patrick's reputed tutor), or Lupus Trecassentis, who divided their time between Gaul and Britain, in St. Iltud, St. Samson, St. Paul de Leon, or any other authentic and historical saint of Celtica.
Some few there may be who, although they have not these peculiarities, are scarcely more authentic than himself; and their fables, I believe, grew out of the fusion of heathenism with what its corrupted and compromising teachers called Christianity. The calendar honours St. Bacchus, St. Nereus, and St. Mercury. We may guess how they got there. At any rate we must admit, that if there ever were such men, they had no namesakes beneath Olympus. That disgraceful system was not limited to classical heathenism, but extended itself to Celts and Teutons.
That Ireland, in the apostolic age and afterwards, heard the gospel ; and that, in the fifth century, her doctrine (so far as she had any) was widely different from the superstition which now prevails, cannot be doubted. That it was such in the fifth century as to merit praise, even in comparison with popery, is more doubtful. In arguing with the deceived and ignorant of that country, it is a just argument that, if there ever was such a being as Patrick, the most ancient and only plausible evidences of him shew that he was no papist or envoy from
VOL. VIII.- Dec. 1835.
Rome. But that there was such a man, and that he wrote those works, is hard to credit.
From the seventh to the tenth centuries, there was a wish and endeavour among the people of these islands to pass off for real Christianity, and so consign to oblivion the semi-druidical sort of heresy which had been prevalent in the fifth and sixth. And I should look upon these works as having been composed in that spirit and intention, by Culdean, or other British priests, not being Romanists.
I will conclude by just observing, that Coroticus is not a corruption of Caradawg, but of Cereticus. Ceretica was a district of Britain, (nearly coinciding with Cardiganshire,) where St. Patrick sojourned, and from whence he set out on his expedition to Ireland. See Girald. Cambr. ap. Wharton Angl. Sacra., p. 629.
SUNDAY CLOTHING CLUBS. Sir,—The fact is notorious, that, (notwithstanding increased and increasing accommodation, the attendance of the poor upon public worship falls infinitely short of what it should be. The reason assigned, almost invariably, for this habitual neglect of the public means of grace, is a want of decent clothing. The question is, "How can this objection be removed ?”—I answer, (and I would modestly submit it to the careful and deliberate study of every Christian person,) by the establishing of “ Sabbath Clothing Societies." Children in our National Schools take home with them, on the Saturday afternoon or evening, the clothing in which they appear on the Sunday, returning that clothing at the school-house on the following Monday;-the same plan, to prevent the possibility of pledging, &c., to any extent, might be adopted regarding the parents. The funds requisite for carrying into effect this project, would, I am aware, be somewhat considerable; but a weekly payment of three pence, or less, until three-fourths of the value of the articles of apparel were paid off, would greatly meet this difficulty-and as a large majority of the poor obtain their articles of dress at tally-shops, this arrangement could not, I conceive, be objected to upon their part. After a year's wear, the Sabbath suit could be presented to them for week-day use: and they would thus be furnished with a succession of reputable apparel, at a very inconsiderable outlay. Many difficulties would, no doubt, meet the whole project, but none, to my mind, which could not, by perseverance, be overcome.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, U.
SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH AND HIS TUTOR.
MY DEAR SIR,—Sir James appears to have been a great admirer of Fenelon, (Life, vol. i., 370, Quarterly Rev., July, No. cvii., p. 275,) and, if I do not greatly err, he has unremittingly borne the strongest testimony to that true saying of the archbishop, (Pious Reflections, 24th day,) “ The love of liberty is one of the most dangerous passions
of the heart of man.” Sir James, (i., p. 12, Review, p. 258,) speaking of his tutor, Dr. Dunbar, says—“but I shall ever be grateful to his memory for having contributed to breathe into my mind a strong spirit of liberty, which, of all moral sentiments, in my opinion, tends most to swell the heart with an animating and delightful consciousness of our own dignity; which again inspires moral heroism, and creates the exquisite enjoyment of self-honour and self-reverence." Now it is from my perfect accordance with Sir James's opinion, that I say, if I know anything of the gospel of Christ, and if its promises for the life that now is, and that which is to come, are anything but a cunningly devised fable, the moral sentiment which Dr. Dunbar breathed into the mind of his pupil was the greatest curse that he could have inflicted; in fact, I should say that he was serving the god of this world in the most efficacious manner. With this strong impression, how false soever it may have appeared to Sir J. Mackintosh and his tutor, I fancy to myself that I shew unto you a more excellent way.
I have ever endeavoured to breathe into my own mind and that of those whom I have had to instruct, not what shall tend to swell the heart with a delightful consciousness of our own dignity, but what shall tend most to sink it with a sad consciousness of our own unworthiness. I make you, it is true, by these means, to feel yourself wretched and miserable, and blind and naked, in your highest and best exaltation over the highest and best of your species. “But I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of nakedness do not appear; and anoint thy eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” I admit that I cut up, by the root, all “ the exquisite enjoyments of self-honour and self-reverence;" but I think that I compensate it with the infinitely higher enjoyments that flow from the honour of another, the respect of another.
Sponte cadis, majorque accepto robore surges. In the "animating and delightful consciousness" of having his merits to plead, his grace to support you, you will be inspired with a moral heroism, that can work—aye, that has worked moral miracles. FRANCIS HUYSHE,
BURIAL FEES. SIR,—The following Canons of the English church may help to throw light upon the subject which “ N.C.T." has brought under notice :
Canons of Elfric. A.D. 957. Canon 27. That no priest sell his ministrations for money, nor make demand of anything for baptism, or any other ministration, &c. Provincial Canons of Westminster.
A.D. 1126. 2. We charge that no price be demanded for chrism, oil, baptism, visiting or anointing the sick, for the communion of the body of Christ, or for burial. Provincial Canons of Westminster.
A.D. 1135. 1. Following the canonical institutes of the fathers, we forbid, by apostolical authority, any price to be demanded for chrism, oil, baptism, penance, visitation of the sick, espousals of women, unction, communion of the body of Christ, or burial, under pain of excommunication.
Provincial Canons of London. A.D. 1175. 7. The holy synod detests simoniacal heresy, and ordains that nothing be demanded for orders, chrism, baptism, extreme unction, burial, communion, nor the dedication of a church, but that what is freely received be freely given; let the offender be anathema.
Provincial Canons of Westminster. A.D. 1200. 8. According to the Lateran council,* we forbid anything to be demanded for inducting or instituting priests, or other clerks, for burying the dead, or giving the nuptial benediction, for chrism, or any of the sacraments ; let the offender have his portion with Gehazi, &c.
Diocesan Canons of Durham. A.D. 1220. 16. And since the covetousness of some has grown to such a height that they strive to set a price upon the inestimable grace of the sacraments, we, being desirous to extirpate from the clergy that love of money (which is the root of all evils), strictly charge that nothing be extorted for the administration of the sacraments, or sacramentals; but let them freely give what they have freely received. We order that no priest, under pain of suspension, demand anything for funeral rites, or the nuptial benediction, &e.
Diocesan Canons of Worcester. A.D. 1240. 35. We strictly charge the priests, that they exact nothing from those committed to them for nuptial benediction, burials of the dead, &c.; but, at the same time, we do not wish to obstruct the pious customs of the faithful, which they may be willing to observe of their own accord. On the other hand, compare
Provincial Canons of Westminster. A.D. 1102. 26. That corpses be not carried out of their parishes to be buried, so that the priest of the parish lose his just dues.
And Provincial Canons of Oxford. A.D. 1222. 27. We firmly forbid that ecclesiastical burial, or baptism, or other ecclesiastical sacrament, be denied to any on account of money, or matrimony be hindered : since, if by the pious devotion of the faithful, anything is wont to be bestowed, we will trust (Wilkins has nolumus, but the sense requires volumus, and so Johnson translates it,) that justice be done to the churches, in this matter, by the ordinary of the place, as is more largely set forth in the general council, + &c.
Council of Lateran, iji. c. 7. Ap. 1179.—“ Whereas, in the church all things should be done of charity, and that which is freely received be freely given. It is too horrid that in some churches the love of gain has taken up its abode ; so that, for installing bishops and abbots, and inducting presbyters, moreover, for burial and funeral rites, and benedictions of married persons, and other sacraments, money is demanded. That this may not be done for the future, we strictly charge that no thing be demanded for installing ecclesiastical persons, or instituting priests, or burying the dead, or nuptial benedictions, or the other sacraments."
+ Council of Lateran, iv. A.D. 1215, c. 66.—" It has come to our knowledge, by frequent complaint, that certain of the clergy exact money for the rites of the dead, nuptial benedictions, and the like, and, if their cupidity be not satisfied, fraudulently interpose fictitious hindrances. On the other hand, some of the laity, through heretical pravity, under the pretence of regard for the canons, strive to infringe the laudable custom which the pious devotion of the faithful has introduced toward the church. Wherefore we both prohibit these disgraceful exactions to be made in this matter, and also charge that the pious customs be observed: ordering that the ecclesiastical sacraments be freely given ; but that they wbo endeavour to change the laudable custom be restrained by the bishop of the place, having knowledge of the truth of the